Unravelling the Adolescent Brain

In this informative, entertaining presentation the audience will gain an understanding of the latest information on brain changes and hence the behaviours we observe as a child transitions through adolescence to an adult.

These seminars and workshops are for parents and professionals who are working with adolescents – school teachers and board of governors, youth workers, foster and care providers and families; corrections, CYFs, police, health providers and anyone else who has contact with teenagers.

Our information is entirely based on up-to-date scientific medical research. Our work is scientific and evidence based, our message is positive and is important to our whole community.

Concern about young people is not new. Each generation is known to have concern about the generation following and we are the first generation to understand the changes that happen in the brain. Recent research shows that there is a burst of neuronal activity in late childhood and adolescence that is linked with risk taking and impulsive, emotional behaviours typical of teenagers.

Consistent, nurturing and positive early experiences grow resilient, empathetic and intelligent adults. Conversely adolescents in New Zealand relative to other developed countries have a high rate of social morbidity.

“Anyone working with youth at risk should hear the Brainwave Adolescent seminar. This evidence based information is easy to understand and covers the latest scientific information on brain development and behaviour of adolescents. It may well shape your thinking about how you work with adolescents.”

Judge Andrew BecroftChildren’s Commissioner & Principal Youth Court Judge

“Although I knew that the adolescent brain does not fully form until the early to mid 20’s, I wasn’t fully aware that the adolescent brain flips back to the impulsivity of a 2 year old at times. That clearly explained why my 16 year old acts the way he does at times. As parents of teenagers, it is too easy to get caught up in what is right/good/correct behaviour rather than allowing our kids to make the mistakes we did and hopefully to guide them in the right direction. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of risk taking and that it is by making mistakes that we all learn.”

MotherHutt Valley

“It is really powerful to use this presentation to bring people together who are working with youth in a school/region or area. It creates lively discussion and reflection on current practices and can lead to groups working together to find a more effective way of working with youth.”

Sue WrightExecutive Director, Brainwave Trust

“The presentation was fantastic. it was like she was talking to me. Her stories just stuck, and it was nice how she didn’t tell you how to parent but told you what was happening.”  


 “It was very enlightening session made all the more interesting in being delivered so superbly. All the parents and grandparents present, would have left with plenty of knowledge and strategies, for coping with the complex behaviour of the adolescents in their lives.” 

Roger ChildsReporter, Kapiti Independent News

Educational seminar and professional development workshops on the next wave of brain development are ideal for those working with and caring for adolescents.

Introductory Seminar: 1.5 – 2 hours
Half Day Workshop: 3 – 3.5 hours
Full Day Workshop: 6 – 7 hours

Topics include:

The implosive emotional decision-making of the teenage years
Risk taking from a different perspective
How decisions are made differently when peers are involved
Why teenagers sleep patterns change
Impact of technology on teenagers
Understanding how alcohol and drugs affect the adolescent brain